Mrs. Naomi Barber King was married to the younger brother of Martin Luther King, Jr. Among Mrs. King’s children is Dr. Alveda King, the full-time Pastoral Associate of Priests for Life who is bringing so much attention to the abortion issue within the African-American community. Naomi King has also spoken out about abortion, pointing out how staggering the statistics are, especially among Black women. She has also shared her personal testimony about how she chose life with the encouragement of her family. On the day of the March for Life, I will have the pleasure of presenting Mrs. King with the National Pro-life Recognition Award, at the morning prayer service on Capitol Hill. You are invited to this prayer service, which starts at 8am, and details of the location will be at www.priestsforlife.org/marchforlife.
Today our nation honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who fought for the equal dignity of every human life against the evil of segregation. “If we are to have peace on earth,” he wrote, “we must be concerned about…the sacredness of all human life. Man is a child of God, made in His image, and must be respected as such.” When we truly believe this, he continued, “we won’t kill anybody.” Many who knew Dr. King assert that if he were alive today, he would be with us in the pro-life movement. We should note that in Dr. King we honor a man who broke the law and was thrown in jail, because he was opposing a law that was unjust. It’s a good reminder, especially for those who think that no law should ever be broken.
Atlanta, GA – Dr. Alveda King, full-time Director of African American Outreach for Priests for Life and niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said today that advice columns written by her uncle for Ebony magazine in 1957-58 reveal a man who today would be regarded as a social conservative.
“In advising men and women on questions of personal behavior 50 years ago, Uncle Martin sounded no different than a conservative Christian preacher does now,” said Dr. King. “He was pro-life, pro-abstinence before marriage, and based his views on the unchanging Word of the Bible. Today, Planned Parenthood would condemn Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as part of the ‘religious right.’”
In advice columns written for the African American-oriented magazine, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told a young man who had impregnated his girlfriend and refused to marry her, resulting in a “crime,” that he had made a “mistake.” He urged another reader to abstain from premarital sex, noting that such activity was contributing “to the present breakdown of the family.”
“Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man of peace, justice, and most of all a man of God,” added Dr. King. “Were he alive today, he would be working to secure peace and justice for those in the womb and healing for a nation that is still pained by over 50 million missing lives.”
Dr. Alveda King, director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life, and Marie Smith, founder and director of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues, an outreach of Gospel of Life Ministries, are among six winners of this year’s “Life Prizes” bestowed by the Gerard Health Foundation.
Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries, congratulated the winners, who will receive the “Norinne A. and Raymond E. Ruddy Memorial Pro-Life Prize” at a ceremony Jan. 22 in Washington, D.C.
“Dr. King and Mrs. Smith are well-deserving of this honor, which recognizes the profound commitment they have to bringing an end to abortion throughout the world,” Father Pavone said.
Dr. King has worked with Father Pavone since 1999 and became a full-time Pastoral Associate at Priests for Life in 2005. She is also a member of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, a joint initiative of Priests for Life and Anglicans for Life. She is the daughter of Rev. A.D. Williams King, who was the brother of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Click here for her full biography.
“This Life Prize Award comes as a very welcome surprise and a dream come true,” said Dr. King. “The desire to plant seeds for life, to be a light, a lamp for life in a dry and barren land, all of this comes true with this Life Prize Award.”
Mrs. Smith’s organization, the Parliamentary Network of Critical Issues, came under the Gospel of Life umbrella earlier this year. Based in Washington, D.C., PNCI assists lawmakers and religious leaders around the world to more effectively advance pro-life laws and build sustainable pro-life leadership.
Mrs. Smith’s pro-life activism began in college, where she also met her husband, Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), who is widely considered to be the leading pro-life member of the House of Representatives. In her past position as International Director of Feminists for Life, Mrs. Smith advocated for the protection of women and children from the violence of abortion, internationally and at the United Nations. The Smiths are the parents of four children and grandparents of two.
“It is an honor to receive a Life Prize award for my international pro-life work and I thank the Gerard Health Foundation for this generous recognition of my pro-life work,” Mrs. Smith said. “I am grateful to Father Frank Pavone for his support and the assistance of the Gospel of Life Ministries for the vital work of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues in building pro-life leadership in capitals around the world.”
Father Pavone also congratulated the other Life Prize winners, including Kristan Hawkins, executive director of Students for Life of America; Jeanne Head, the United Nations Representative for the National Right to Life Educational Trust; the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, and Douglas Smith, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee.
“It is a joy to collaborate with all the leaders who have been given these prizes,” Father Pavone said. “And I thank Ray Ruddy for his initiative in establishing these prizes. More philanthropists should follow his example, because more money is spent killing children in the womb than saving them, and that has to change.”